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The Jungle ABC Hardcover – April 16, 1998


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Product Details

  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; 1 edition (April 16, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786803983
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786803989
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 10.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,671,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"The jungle way by night and day is full of cries and amber eyes while Zulus prance in snake-like dance to grooves hypnotic quite exotic"--these words rhythmically dance down the title page and back cover of Michael Roberts' gorgeous, oversized, color-drenched alphabet book. Roberts, perhaps best known for the collage covers he has created for The New Yorker magazine, is also a photographer, filmmaker, and set designer. As an alphabet book, The Jungle ABC works like this: each letter is represented by a breathtaking African scene corresponding to that letter. For example, "A" is paired with a giant antelope head, artfully crafted from colored paper cutouts. If you can't tell the image is an antelope, you flip to the back of the book, where all 26 words are identified, from Antelope to Queen to Xylophones to Zebras. Children will learn about the African kraal, and perhaps what an impala looks like. In the foreword, world-famous model Iman writes about the mystery and power of the African jungle, and how "the tigress inspired my every step; the graceful, erect arch of the giraffe formed my posture." We almost forget this exhilarating visual explosion is an alphabet book, as Roberts effectively distracts us with the power and beauty of Africa. (All ages) --Karin Snelson

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 3?Yet another variation on the alphabet concept-book theme. This title uses images from Africa to illustrate the different letters. While the title indicates a jungle setting, the words employed span a broader African scope. For example, the text includes impalas and zebras, which are indigenous to the open savannahs. Problematic letters such as U and X are dealt with by the conventional choices of "umbrella" and "xylophone." Most of the vocabulary will be accessible to children except for the word "kraal," which is not defined. The oversized cut-paper collages are striking and vibrant. However, the page layout omits the actual word that the picture represents. With the individual letter as their only clue, readers must attempt to guess what the picture represents or refer to the word list at the back of the book. For children just learning the alphabet, this arrangement is especially awkward. They will need significant guidance from adults in order to appreciate this title and there is not enough here to hold the interest of more sophisticated audiences. A foreword by fashion model Iman is also an odd touch. A graphically beautiful mixed bag that somehow misses the mark.?Rosalyn Pierini, San Luis Obispo City-County Library, CA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Size, color and subject matter are not your run-of -the-mill alphabet book. My two children were fascinated with it for over a year between the ages of 20 mos. to 38 mos. It's great to have something we don't already have in our cultural repertoire. It was a gift, and I was pleasantly surprised by the attraction my children had for it. I think it is a great young children's gift.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 8, 1998
Format: Hardcover
If tigresses, elephants, zebras, xylophones, antelopes, and chameleons don't all hail from exactly the same part of the world, that's okay with me. This big, bold, beautiful book is a masterpiece...and a powerful tribute to the spirit of Africa.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 5, 1998
Format: Hardcover
"The Jungle ABC" should not be tucked away in the nursery, but rather on the coffee table next to a copy of "The New Yorker." The author will be best known to readers of that magazine for the sophisticated front covers that appear regularly on the magazine, all done in collage. The book is a marvel of color and imagination, with all letters illustrated in what is said to be "cutouts made from colored paper," a bit like saying Michelangelo used rock to make statues. While the book is truly of abecedarian nature, it's not likely to be used for teaching purposes. "K," for example, stands for "kraal." And you have to consult the key in the back to see what some of the illustrations mean. But all that is unimportant. The alphabet is merely an excuse for 26 vibrant and fanciful designs. (An extra half dozen or so are thrown in for good measure.) This is an art book of whimsy and ingenuity. Its energy and joy belongs on every coffee table.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 27, 1998
Format: Hardcover
The pictures of the Zulu people remind me of some of the images from the fifties. Stylized images. Images that say - "here is a picture of an african". We know that this cannot be, because there is no one picture of an African person just as there is no one picture of an American person. The book DOES say that the people are Zulu, but Zulu people do not live near the jungle. I realize that they are represented in native costume and ARE supposed to be stylized, but isn't representing them this way kind of like saying "African People live in the Jungle with the wild animals." A stereotypical statement right out of the old time hollywood movies.
By the way, don't giraffes and zebras live on the plains, not in the jungle? Also, according to the Amazon review: In the foreword, world-famous model Iman writes about the mystery and power of the African jungle, and how "the tigress inspired my every step; the graceful, erect arch of the giraffe formed my posture."
Doesn't Iman know that the tigress is from Asia?
All that being said, the rhymes in the book are jazzy and fun and the illustrations are a treat (if stereotypical - I can live with that, but aren't we supposed to be educating our children a little better than this?).
Hate it and love it.
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